Al Jazeera has a Live Blog for Feb 3
As you can see we now have the live feed from Al Jazeera English and I am posting this at early so everyone can watch the events in Egypt as they happen.
Violence erupted yesterday in Cairo and continued through the night on the ninth day of anti-government protests. There are reports of five deaths and countless injuries, some burned by thrown molotov cocktails. The Egyptian army has mostly stood by watching doing little to stop the violence that was begun by the pro-Mubarak supporters. The anti-government protesters stood strong against the “thugs” as they were labeled by most of the news media. They formed a line of protection around the Egyptian Antiquities Museum using sheet metal shields to push back the mob that was intent on getting inside to do more damage.
Sharif Kouddous: Live From Egypt: The True Face of the Mubarak Regime
February 2, Cairo, Egypt-The Mubarak regime launched a brutal and coordinated campaign of violence today to take back the streets of Cairo from Egypt’s mass pro-democracy movement.
Pro-Mubarak mobs began gathering near Tahrir Square shortly after Mubarak’s speech on Tuesday night and held a rally in front of the state TV building on Corniche El Nile Street. In the morning, they began marching around the downtown area in packs of fifty to 100.
These were not the same kinds of protesters that have occupied Tahrir for the last few days. These crowds were made up mostly of men, in between 20 and 45 years old. Many wore thick leather jackets with sweaters underneath. They chanted angrily in support of Mubarak and against the pro-democracy movement. They were hostile and intimidating.
About ten minutes we started seeing soldiers telling the pro-Mubarak demonstrators to leave the bridge [near the entrance to the square]. Within no more than six or seven minutes the entire bridge was cleared with only one warning shot fired…
I do think it is hopeful, every time we have seen the army intervene in this crisis it has led to a significant lessening of the tension. The problem is we don’t know what the orders are. But they have intervened, and for now at least the battle of Tahrir is Square is over.
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2011/feb/03/egypt-protests-live-updates#block-6 8:32 am GMT: A retired Egyptian general told the BBC that the troops stand ready to fire at pro-Mubarak supporters, if they attack protesters today.
This seems to confirm what Peter Beaumont has been seeing on the ground. The general claimed the army could turn on Mubarak as early as tomorrow.
The general told the BBC’s Jon Leyne that Mubarak “would be out of office tomorrow”.
Here are some of the latest news stories this morning.
CAIRO – President Hosni Mubarak struck back at his opponents, unleashing waves of his supporters armed with clubs, rocks, knives and firebombs in a concerted assault on thousands of antigovernment protesters in Tahrir Square calling for an end to his authoritarian rule.
CAIRO – The future of the Arab world, perched between revolt and the contempt of a crumbling order, was fought for in the streets of downtown Cairo on Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of protesters who have reimagined the very notion of citizenship in a tumultuous week of defiance proclaimed with sticks, home-made bombs and a shower of rocks that they would not surrender their revolution to the full brunt of an authoritarian government that answered their calls for change with violence.
The online group Anonymous said Wednesday that it had paralyzed the Egyptian government’s Web sites in support of the antigovernment protests.
Anonymous, a loosely defined group of hackers from all over the world, gathered about 500 supporters in online forums and used software tools to bring down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, said Gregg Housh, a member of the group who disavows any illegal activity himself. The sites were unavailable Wednesday afternoon.
TOKYO (Dow Jones)–Tokyo stocks fell Thursday on increasingly violent civil unrest in Eqypt as well as on disappointing earnings reports from high-profile firms such as Panasonic and Ricoh, which offset good news from Fast Retailing.
The Nikkei Stock Average fell 26.00 points, or 0.3%, to 10,431.36 following the prior day’s 1.8% rise. The Topix index of all the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section issues also fell 2.07 points, or 0.2%, to 927.57 with 15 of 33 subindexes ending in negative territory.
Toll mounts as pro-democracy supporters apparently come under attack from Mubarak loyalists in the Egyptian capital.
Heavy gunfire is being heard in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square as pro-democracy demonstrators continue to defy curfew in the Egyptian capital.
Ambulances were seen heading to the area on Thursday morning and at least two fatalities were reported.
Protesters from the pro-democracy and pro-government camps fought pitched battles on Wednesday in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak for the past nine days.
At least three people were reported to have died and more than 1,500 others injured in those clashes, according to officials and doctors quoted by the Reuters news agency.
An Al Jazeera correspondent, reporting from just outside Tahrir Square late on Wednesday night, said dozens of pro-Mubarak supporters erected barricades on either side of a road, trapping the pro-democracy supporters. They were gathering stones, breaking streetlights and using balaclavas to cover their faces, apparently in preparation for a fresh standoff with the pro-democracy crowd.
Our correspondent said local residents thought the men preparing for the standoff were police officers but the claim could not be independently confirmed.
Just hours earlier, an Al Jazeera online producer reporting from near Tahrir Square said: “Someone – a few people actually – were dropping homemade bombs into the square from the buildings surrounding it.”
Gunshots were also regularly ringing out of the square.
Following violent attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, activists who were already reluctant to accept the regime’s invitation to negotiate say that such a move is now completely out of the question.
“We might have negotiated a diplomatic solution with the regime, but after today’s developments, the fight will continue; what happened will not weaken it,” said Nasser Abdel Hamid, member of the National Association for Change. “Even if people are forced to leave the square, they will return another day.”